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OU Basketball: Texas Overpowers No. 11 Oklahoma in Norman

The Longhorns leaned on excellent shooting from deep and physical defense to smother No. 11 Oklahoma late on Tuesday.

NORMAN — Porter Moser’s Texas problem remerged on Tuesday night.

The Longhorns’ sharpshooting duo of Max Abmas and Dylan Disu shined in the second half, burying No. 11 Oklahoma from deep on its own floor.

Paired with the offensive firepower, Texas’ defense smothered OU late to down the Sooners 75-60 at the Lloyd Noble Center.

The Longhorns moved to 14-5 overall on the year and 3-3 in Big 12 action, while Oklahoma dropped to 15-4 and 3-3 in conference play.

Moser also moved to 0-5 against the Longhorns at OU.

“I’m disappointed,” Moser said after the game. “I’m disappointed because we got the lead, fans were awesome. I’ve worked my ass off to get people in here, and that’s on me. That’s on me.

“… Obviously we didn’t play to our standards, and you got to give them credit, but it starts with me. I put that team out there today, and we thought we were ready, but we looked tired in the second half.

“I got to give them credit, because I thought they made some crucial, key baskets in like a 7-8 minute stretch, and they got separation.”

Final Box Score

Final Box Score

Texas held the Sooners to just six points over the last 10 minutes of the game, closing the battle on a 20-6 run.

“I’m always saying don’t let your offense dictate your defense,” Moser said. “I think our defense dictated our offense.

“… They played with a great urgency. And I think our guys, our offense wasn’t nearly as crisp and as quick. And that starts with me. But you could tell us not getting stops and they were making their shots.”

A pair of Abmas 3’s, including a nasty step back from well beyond the arc helped Texas rebuild an 11-point lead with eight minutes left, sucking the life out of a strong Lloyd Noble Center crowd.

“Every single time we tried to get something they answered it,” Moser said. “… I thought we couldn’t get stops and I didn’t think we were cutting and moving as hard on offense when we couldn’t get those stops.”

OU shot 3-of-15 from the floor over the last 10 minutes, allowing the Longhorns to steal the crucial win and send the crowd packing three minutes before the final buzzer sounded.

For the game to even be close midway through the second half, the Sooners had to withstand another slow start.

Unable to harness the energy in the arena, the Sooners started the game shooting 4-of-17 from the floor, allowing Texas to build an early 18-9 advantage.

But Jalon Moore put an end to the early struggles.

He ignited the crowd with two monster dunks on back-to-back possessions in front of the student section, finishing through contact and sinking a free throw after the second dunk to cut Texas’ lead to four.

Not to be outdone, John Hugley IV took flight to power home another dunk, giving the Sooners their first lead at 21-20 its 5:21 left until halftime, forcing Longhorn coach Rodney Terry to burn a timeout.

The break didn’t halt OU’s run, as Rivaldo Soares drew a charge on the ensuing possession to give the ball right back to Oklahoma.

Another bench piece then stepped up for Moser.

Le’Tre Darthard was left alone and he drilled a 3-pointer cap off a 12-0 OU run. From there, it was game on, and the Sooners took a 33-32 advantage into halftime.

But with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey on the front row as Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione’s guest, the Sooners couldn’t close late.

Disu hit his second 3 of the night two possessions after Abmas’ deep bomb, and he continued to pour it on. The fifth year veteran hit four free throws and a jumper in the final five minutes of the game to ensure there would be no late push to flip the result.

“He’s a tremendous, tremendous player,” Moser said. “And I thought his defense was almost better than his offense, and I thought he was elite offensively. I thought he played a tremendous defensive game tonight, Disu tonight.”

Turnovers weren’t the issue, as the Sooners actually won that battle 13-8, but Texas shot 44 percent from deep to OU’s 21 percent, proving to be the difference in the game. The Longhorns also dominated the rebounding battle 40-24.

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier, either.

Oklahoma’s next game will be in Norman, but the Sooners will host No. 20 Texas Tech on Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center.

“We’ve gotta bounce back,” Moser said. “This can’t define us. We’ve gotta grow from struggle.

“… We’ve gotta get rested and ready for another physical defensive game, and we’ve gotta grow from the struggle.”